Sine Qua Non Pundit

And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good -- Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ------ ------ ------ ------ E-mail: charlesaustin@earthlink.net

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Thursday, November 28, 2002
 

Why Are You Reading This?

You should be going back for another plate of turkey, baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, oyster dressing, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, sweet corn, green beans, baked onions, fresh baked bread and, of course, cranberry sauce.

There's at least another 20 bottles of the Marietta Cellars Angeli Cuvee downstairs, so don't be shy about refilling your glass. There's fresh coffee (regular and decaffienated) which you can supplement with whole cream, half-and-half, 2% milk, sugar, Kahlua, Amaretto, a 25 year-old Macallan or a 22 year-old Caol Ila, if you like. We'll save the 1985 Graham's and the 1992 Fonseca for a little later this evening, but there's just a little of the 1977 Warre's left from last night.

If you have finished off three full plates -- no whining, though loosening of the belt is allowed -- then you have permission to have a slice of apple pie and pumpkin pie. Whatever else you do, don't forget to top it off with the Chantilly Cream. And remember, if you don't have at least one slice of each, then the terrorists will have won!

So log off and get back to your families. At least, that's what you'd be doing if you were at my house.

I'd like to give a special thanks to all our people in uniform wherever they may be today!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!



 

Bush Isn't a Moron, He's a Sociopath

If one method of attack fails, it's time to get more outrageous:

Since the 2000 presidential campaign, [Mark Crispin] Miller has been compiling his own collection of Bush-isms, which have revealed, he says, a disquieting truth about what lurks behind the cock-eyed leer of the leader of the free world. "I did initially intend it to be a funny book. But that was before I had a chance to read through all the transcripts," Miller, an American author and a professor of culture and communication at New York University, said recently in Toronto. "Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss."

I have to admit that I missed it.

Miller's judgment, that the president might suffer from a bona fide personality disorder, almost makes one long for the less menacing notion currently making the rounds: that the White House's current occupant is, in fact, simply an idiot.

Taking the politics of personal destruction to a new level.

If only. Miller's rendering of the president is bleaker than that. In studying Bush's various adventures in oration, he started to see a pattern emerging. "He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when he's talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge.

Um, what is he talking about?

At a public address in Nashville, Tenn., in September, Bush provided one of his most memorable stumbles. Trying to give strength to his case that Saddam Hussein had already deceived the West concerning his store of weapons, Bush was scripted to offer an old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. What came out was the following:

"Fool me once, shame ... shame on ... you." Long, uncomfortable pause. "Fool me — can't get fooled again!"

Played for laughs everywhere, Miller saw a darkness underlying the gaffe. "There's an episode of Happy Days, where The Fonz has to say, `I'm sorry' and can't do it. Same thing," Miller said. "What's revealing about this is that Bush could not say, `Shame on me' to save his life. That's a completely alien idea to him. This is a guy who is absolutely proud of his own inflexibility and rectitude."


Hubris? I'm not sure whether it's the foibles and sociopathic tendencies of Bill Clinton or Al Gore that Miller is trying to project onto President George W. Bush.

So, when Bush is envisioning "a foreign-handed foreign policy," or observes on some point that "it's not the way that America is all about," Miller contends it's because he can't keep his focus on things that mean nothing to him. "When he tries to talk about what this country stands for, or about democracy, he can't do it," he said.

Careful there Miller, you'll spill your Kool-Aid.

This, then, is why he's so closely watched by his handlers, Miller says — not because he'll say something stupid, but because he'll overindulge in the language of violence and punishment at which he excels. "He's a very angry guy, a hostile guy. He's much like Nixon. So they're very, very careful to choreograph every move he makes. They don't want him anywhere near protestors, because he would lose his temper."

Losing your temper when confronted by people like Miller seems quite reasonable to me. And when an illiberal resorts to Nixon, you know that their toy box is almost empty.

Miller, without question, is a man with a mission — and laughter isn't it. "I call him the feel bad president, because he's all about punishment and death"

I call Miller the act stupid professor of culture and communication at New York University. Where punishment and death are warrented for people that want us dead, this seems to make perfect sense to me. But seriously, the irrational hatred for the President and anyone who might choose to stand with him is growing.



 

The Cincinnati Bungles

The Mike Brown led Bungles have released Michael Westbrook. No surprise there, but let's remember why Michael Westbrook was brought into the fold:

The release of Westbrook, 30, abruptly ended the brief tenure of a player Bengals coaches had hoped would provide them a deep threat in 2002 and also serve as a mentor to their younger players at the position.

There must be two Michael Westbrooks. That's the only reason I can imagine why they thought that Stephan Davis' selfish assailant would be a mentor to younger players who would take catches away from him. But in the ultimate irony (not noted by Len Pasquarelli):

The Bengals will replace Westbrook on the roster with rookie offensive tackle Reggie Coleman, who was suspended last week for punching a teammate.

Will the circle be unbroken?



Wednesday, November 27, 2002
 

Something To Be Thankful About

From the National Post:

Anyone puzzled by the science behind Kyoto should take a look at the economics. In the words of one leading economic modeller, the central 100-year economic projections behind Kyoto and global warming policymaking is an "insult to science" and "an insult to serious analysis." And that's probably the good part of any criticism. It is also clear that the economic work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is driven by systemic ideological preferences for state intervention.

A vocal group of economists around the world -- including some of the leading figures in the field of global economic modelling -- believe the core economic analysis behind the United Nations climate change initiative is based on seriously flawed modelling principles. If their analysis is correct, the central scientific tenets of global warming, including 100-year carbon emissions forecasts and temperature increases, are likely grossly exaggerated.

Contrary to popular belief, the theory that the world is heading for major temperature increases over the next century is not primarily a scientific issue.


There's more, much more. Read it all and it will brighten your day that the forces of darkness are being countered by reason.



 

Enquiring Minds Need To Be Spanked

According to Drudge:

GLORIA ALLRED PUSHES PROBE OF MICHAEL JACKSON...

I have nothing to add.



 

So Much For Free Enterprise

According to the New York Times:

The president of the airlines' trade association said today that unless the industry's problems are fixed soon, it might be necessary to nationalize the airlines.

The real problem is that the supply for air travel greatly exceeds the demand post 9/11. The answer isn't to keep flying empty planes at taxpayer expense. The world has changed. The market has changed. Get used to it.

She said the government "must reject the false premise that the airlines and their customers can or should bear this national defense burden."

So, maintaining the status quo in the airline industry is now a national defense need?

Failing to fix the root causes of the industry's dire situation could mean that the nationalization of the industry becomes necessary, Ms. Hallett said.

And this woman is the president for the airline's trade association? Looks like they may get what they deserve. But if we nationalize the airlines, then the terrorists will have won.



Tuesday, November 26, 2002
 

Coppola's Moon or Priscilla Un-Caged

Nicholas Cage and Priscilla Presley have split up.

Maybe Nicholas was reliving his past as Ronny Cammareri:

Priscilla, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn't know this either, but love don't make things nice - it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*. The storybooks are *bullshit*. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and *get* in my bed!

Weren't his last two movies "The Family Man" and "Gone in 60 Seconds"?

DOWNDATE: No wonder Nick and Lisa Marie split up. He was two-timing her with her mother. Thanks to Piazzagrrl for the heads up. I'll leave the post as it is, since it somehow seems more appropriate that way. But these increasingly frequent substantial errors of fact are starting to worry me.



 

Bad Call

Every football player is well advised to keep his head up any time the ball is live, but Warren Sapp's hit on Chad Clifton last week was out of line. Not because it was away from the play, which makes it a little brutal but not unfair, but because he left his feet and used his helmet to spear Chad Clifton's head. Watch the replay! Warren Sapp was head hunting and that is extremely dangerous. The fact that the league says there was no penalty is a cop out. There are enough serious injuries every week in the NFL without something like this. Compare Warren Sapp's hit to the one Ray Lewis put on someone earlier this year when Chris McAllister returned a missed field goal 107 yards. Ray Lewis leveled a guy that never saw him coming, but he hit him in the chest, not the head. Warren Sapp was leading with his head and aiming for Clifton's head. Watch the replay! And then to top it off, Warren's righteous indignation and threat that he would have hurt Mike Sherman for what he said is just too much. Thug life hits the NFL.

I've always had a lot of respect for Warren Sapp in the past. I thought he played hard and respected his opponents. I don't think that way anymore. I wonder what Bret Favre thinks about his friend Warren now as the Packers watch the film this week.



Monday, November 25, 2002
 

DNC Word of the Month

Will the DNC, elected Democrats and all their friends in the media please stop using any conjugation of the verb "to chill" and the adjective "chilling" to describe the consequences of their failures?

Past DNC Words of the month include "gravitas," and "extremist."



 

Things That Make Ya Go Boom...

According to Fox News television: "Hans Blix says that Iraq 'may have trouble' with Dec 8 deadline."

Oh?

My hope is that this will be dwarfed by the trouble Iraq will have on Dec 9 when they don't meet the Dec 8 deadline. Listening to Hans speak, it sounds like he's trying to make excuses and beg for time. Let's hope this little gambit fails.





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